COVID-19 live updates: Spike of 111 new cases due to Labor Day gatherings, officials say

This is a breaking news story and will be updated throughout the day Wednesday, Sept. 16. This story is part of the Reno Gazette Journal’s essential COVID-19 coverage and is being provided for free. Please consider subscribing to the RGJ to support our work.

Spike in new cases due to Labor Day gatherings, officials say  

Wednesday, 5 p.m.

Washoe County reported 111 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, the highest one day increase in cases since Aug. 13 and a spike officials attribute to Labor Day gatherings.

The Regional Information Center also reported the death of a male in his 60s with underlying health conditions. 

Washoe County is currently reporting 1,231 active cases, up 10 since yesterday. There are currently 51 cases hospitalized, a 9 person increase since updates on Tuesday. There were 100 recovered cases. 

There have been 669 new tests reported in the county, bringing the total tests conducted to 124,771. 

The county reported a three percent increase in occupied staffed short-term, acute-care hospital beds, up to 65 percent. There has been a one percent increase in the number of occupied intensive care unit beds, up to 42 percent. 13 cases have been discharged from the hospital, according to data released on Wednesday.

Poor air quality closes Washoe County’s COVID testing on Wednesday

1:27 p.m.

The Washoe County Health District closed its COVID-19 testing on Wednesday because of the forecast of dense smoke.

Washoe County Health District Office Kevin Dick said it was the first time the testing site has had to close.

People who were scheduled Wednesday were rescheduled. Dick said there were openings for testing on Thursday and Friday.

Dick said the health district is working on plans to how to handle having to close due to snow in the coming months.

Truckee Meadows COVID risk meter drops to ‘moderate’

1:15 p.m.

The Truckee Meadows COVID Risk Meter has shifted from a high to moderate risk level because the test positive rate over a 7-day period in Washoe County dropped to 7 percent.  

The risk meter was the brainchild of Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, who wanted public health experts to advise the city on how to manage the pandemic, and developers hoped the public would use it to make personal decisions about things such as going to gatherings or sheltering in place.

The new tool shows things are improving, but there is a still a risk of community spread.

Truckee Meadows Covid Risk Meter for Wednesday, Sept. 16.

“This is great news,” said Dr. Eric Nielsen, a Reno emergency room doctor about the meter showing improving conditions.  He said on Tuesday that Washoe had 42 new cases eight to nine days after the Labor Day weekend. Holiday weekends have proven to cause a jump in cases in Northern Nevada because of social gatherings.

The risk meter still shows there is still a risk of community spread but that guidelines such as social distancing and wearing a mask should continue.

“We are seeing the impacts of everybody’s efforts to work to control the spread of COVID-19 in the community,“ said Washoe County Health District Officer Kevin Dick.

He also said the opening of bars in Washoe County at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday could impact the spread of COVID-19 in the coming weeks.

“There are still over 1,200 active cases in the community, so we do still have significant levels of disease in a community,” Dick said of an average of 57 new cases per day.

The county is still flagged under the Gov. Steve Sisolak’s criteria for case rate, which is 278 cases per 100,000 over a 30-day period. The threshold under the state’s criteria is 200.

Nevada reports 12 new deaths, 208 cases

Wednesday, 11:50 p.m.

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services is reporting a dozen new deaths and 208 additional confirmed cases on Wednesday. 

Hospitalizations for confirmed cases dropped by 13 to 373, following a downward trend in hospitalizations across the state since early August. 

4,971 new tests were reported, an increase from 2,538 tests reported on Tuesday. A total of 953,155 tests have been reported by the state since tracking began.

The number of cases in Intensive Care Units dropped by four, down to 150. The data also reported 18 new hospitalizations of suspected COVID-19 cases.

Washoe County COVID-19 death toll reaches 150 Tuesday

Washoe County reported one new death Tuesday, bringing the county’s death toll to 150 people, according to the Regional Information Center.

The most recent death was of a man in his 70s with an underlying health condition.

There were also 42 new cases as well as 38 additional recoveries reported Tuesday. 

Total COVID-19 cases in Washoe County: 8,184 (+42 from Sept.14)

  • Deaths: 150 (+1)
  • Recovered: 6,813 (+38)
  • Active cases: 1,221 (+3)
  • Currently hospitalized: 42 (+2)
  • Cases who have discharged from hospital: 610 (+0)

There have been 124,102 COVID-19 tests performed in Washoe County. Forty-one percent of all staffed short-term, acute-care hospital beds are occupied while 41 percent of all ICU beds are occupied. 

According to the Nevada Hospital Association, in Washoe County as of September 15:

  • 62 percent of all staffed short-term, acute-care hospital beds are occupied (-2% since Sept. 14)
  • 41 percent of the all Intensive Care Unit beds are occupied (-1%)
  • 18 percent of all ventilators are in use (-2%)

Nevada reports 226 new cases, 26 deaths Tuesday

Nevada reported 226 new cases of COVID-19 and 26 coronavirus-related deaths over the past day, according to data released by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services.

Only 2,538 tests were conducted in the state over the past day, the fourth-lowest daily testing total in the past four months. To date, 948,184 tests have been conducted in Nevada and 74,040 cases have been diagnosed. Approximately 1 in 46 Nevadans have been diagnosed with the coronavirus since the pandemic first reached the Silver State.

Hospitalizations of confirmed and suspected cases increased by 10 to 483, the second straight daily increase during what has been a prolonged downward trend. The number of patients in intensive care units decreased by four to 154, while ventilator use decreased by one to 98.

Clark and Washoe counties continue to be the state’s hot spots for the coronavirus, both in total cases and on a per capita basis. Clark County has seen 62,952 cases and 1,287 deaths — or about 2,716 cases and 56 deaths per 100,000 residents. Washoe County is second in those categories, with 8,142 cases and 149 deaths — about 1,703 cases and 31 deaths per 100,000 residents.

More:COVID-19 cases continue to climb at UNR with more than 100 cases since semester started

To support local journalism like this, please subscribe.